FC Porto Vitalis 27 : 24 KIF Kolding Kobenhavn (15:11)
Today after the amazing victory against KIF Kolding Kobenhavn, Porto proved that still is dreaming the dream to qualify in the next round. By four points now they still can pass Plock (currently six points before their tomorrow’s match at Kiel) in three remaining three matches. With this defeat KIF Kolding minimize the chances to win the top posotion in the group.
The number of technical mistakes was much too high at the Danish team to finish successful, additionally they might have underestimated the hosts, who fought like dragons in the “Dragon’s Den”.
The injury-hit team from Denmark did not find their rhythm, and the coordination of defence and goalkeeper Kasper Hvidt was not as good as in the previous two matches against Kielce. Led by their top scorer Pedro Spinola (eight goals), Porto showed their best international performance in this season. One saw they had nothing to lose – and without this burden and pressure they managed to go ahead much easier than expected.
The Porto tactics, to reduce the speed to avoid the Danish counter-attacks, worked already before the break. With KIF not scoring in the last ten minutes of the first half, Porto quite easily forged ahead to a four goal margin.
And it even came worse for KIF, as Porto extended the lead to 20:13, causing a KIF time-out. From that moment on the Danish runners-ups seemed to have the strength to turn the match around – but the roller coaster stopped at 21:20 for Porto, as then the host again took full control and latest decided the match at 26:23 two minutes before the end.
Arena: Dragao Caixa
FC Porto Vitalis
Spinola 8,Duarte 5,Ferraz 4, Davyes 3, Rosario 2, Santos 2, Hernandez-Borgez 1, Moreira 1, Rocha 1, Alves,Bravo, Laurentino, Martins,Mourao, Pereira,Santos.
KIF Kolding Kobenhavn
Spellerberg 7, Karlsson 4, Rocas Comas 4, Anderson 3,Viudes 3, Laen 1, Pedersen 1, Theilgaard 1, Boldsen,Hundstrup, Hvidt, Jeppesen,Jorgensen, Ravn, Westphal.
Javier Alvarez Mata (ESP) and Ion Bustamante Lopez (ESP)
Felix Rätz (SUI)
Celje Pivovarna Lasko 26:20 HC Croatia Osiguranje Zagreb (14:11)
In Celje was played the Balcan clash, where the winner was the home team with 26:20. Slovenian contenders Celje Pivovarna Lasko made a big step towards the VELUX EHF Champions League knockout stage after coming out on top in an enthralling contest against traditional Balkan rivals HC Croatia Osiguranje Zagreb.
Seeing that the two teams entered with 4 points in this match,this was a really important match for increasing the chances to qualify in the next round.
The amazing difence of Celje against the best scorer from Zagreb Mandalinic, was one of the key moments for the victory. With the support of the fantastic fans the hosts had a lead midway the first half with 8:4. In that period Gasper Marguc and Ivan Sliskovic had a great performance for their team. Zagreb right wing Zlatko Horvat mantained his team in game and with 5 goals manage to tie the result (10:10) 5 minutes before the end of the first half. Celje responded with a new series of 4 goals and secured a lead of 3 goals difference at halftime 14:11.
Reserve keeper Urban Lejsak shone after the break for Celje, pulling off three crucial saves as aggressive defending by either side ground scoring to a halt at both ends.
The rivals managed only two goals apiece in the opening 17 minutes of the second half, before Sliskovic and playmaker Sebastian Skube opened the floodgates for Celje and propelled the home team to an unassailable 23:17 lead with five minutes left on the clock.
Zagreb made every effort to at least keep the score down but committed too many turnovers as the despondent Mandalinic found no room to operate while the tightly marked Horvat also had a quiet second half.
Serb Nemanja Zelenovic joined the home team’s party with three quickfire goals in the closing stages, throwing the vociferous home crowd into raptures as they treated Celje a well-deserved standing ovation after the final whistle.
Marguc and Sliskovic led Celje with six goals each and Skube added four, while Horvat remained Zagreb’s top scorer with five goals although he failed to find the back of the net after the interval.
Arena: Zlatorog Arena
Celje Pivovarna Lasko
Marguc 6, Sliskovic 6, Skube 4, Lekai 3, Zelenovic 3, Mlakar 2, Poteko 1, Zvizej 1, Janc,Lesjak, Potocnik,Ranevski, Razgor, Skok, Zabic,Zuran.
HC Croatia Osiguranje Zagreb
Horvat 5, Maric 3, Sandrk 3, Stepancic 2, Valcic 2, Coric 1, Mandalinic 1,Matulic 1, Obranovic 1, Sprem 1, Ivic, Caleb, Mihic, Sebetic, Stevanovic, Valcic.
Peter Brunovsky (SVK) and Vladimir Canda (SVK)
Henrik La Cour Laursen (DEN)